Author: Alina Făniță, Partner, PKF Finconta
Under the impact of technology, industries around the world are changing faster than ever. What seemed torn from Sci-Fi movies in the early 2000s is becoming a reality today. Beyond the obvious advantages that data mining offers, more and more reluctance is expressed in the way it is analyzed, used and stored.
The advantages of digitalization
The audit function is undergoing a revolutionary transformation process. Access to information, streamlining processes, information and quality analysis strengthens capital markets' confidence in the value of the audit opinion. Automation makes it easier to eliminate manual tasks, leaving auditors time to deal with the issues that matter most.
With a huge amount of data and the best analysis and visualization tools, auditors can identify and respond to potential risks, see trends and patterns that would not be visible through a statistical sampling approach.
Information and systems security
However there are still issues that need to be addressed for the implementation of automation in the audit function. The most illustrative example is trust in data security and integrity. When providing information to auditors, companies want to make sure that the information is good for tomorrow and that it is used in maximum security. That is why the audit team and the company providing these services must use advanced security systems to protect them against cyber attacks.
It is, therefore, very important for auditors but also for their clients to invest in technology in order to strengthen mutual trust in the quality of the information obtained, but also in its security.
The role of the auditor remains essential
Despite the technologicalization of the audit function we are witnessing and which has intensified in recent years, this profession will not be dominated by smart cars. Critical thinking, evaluation, experience and knowledge of the client industry will continue to be needed. Only in this way will there be a thorough understanding of the audit processes that will facilitate the good integration of technology in the areas with the greatest impact.
Automation does not replace the auditor, but increases its efficiency and quality of work, bringing value to all factors involved. It is important to maintain a good balance between the principles of the profession and the impact of technology. When auditors' expertise and experience are complemented by technology efficiency, the audit opinion is even more relevant in the value it brings to the client company.
Process automation, data analysis, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology will continue to play an important role in transforming the way the audit process takes place. Technology is far from the perfect solution to the current challenges of this profession, but it is the launching pad for its future opportunities.
Like all transformational stories, the digitization of audit missions puts technology at the forefront of updating processes that improve quality and increase efficiency. It is also an important element that will help change the focus of the audit process from a retrospective approach to one that is forward-looking, offering much deeper business perspectives to clients.
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About PKF Finconta
For over 25 years, PKF Finconta is one of the 10 leading professional services companies in Romania. Since 2006, we are a member of PKF International Limited. PKF International is a leading international business advisory organization. The company grew consistently over the years, forming a Group of four companies: PKF Finconta, PKF Finconta Consultanta, PKF Finconta HR and Finconta Consulting SPRL, members of national professional organizations CECCAR, CAFR, CCFR, and UNPIR. We provide a wide range of business advisory and related specialist services. We have seven core areas of expertise and within these areas, we tailor our services to your business and your needs: audit, corporate finance, tax, bookkeeping and accounting advisory services, transfer pricing, payroll and personnel administration, and insolvency.